RALEIGH, N.C. — Nearly 100 North Carolina small business leaders are urging Congress to usher in a new era of American innovation with policies that limit carbon pollution and increase energy efficiency.
In an open letter Thursday, 95 North Carolina entrepreneurs called on Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for limiting carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants, despite the attempts of several lawmakers to repeal EPA’s authority to regulate those emissions – a move that would undermine the Clean Air Act.
North Carolina’s small business community knows the economic and public health benefits of stronger clean air standards and is urging Congress to encourage energy efficiency with financial incentives for small businesses.
To read the letter, visit: http://www.ncconservationnetwork.org/documents/sbletter
Sensible clean air standards, like those proposed by the EPA, will spark innovation and drive long-term growth, while curbing the devastating impacts of climate change, the letter states.
“On my Fairview family farm, I am always dealing with the environment and climate. This was the wettest year on record in western North Carolina,” said Glenda Ploeger, owner of Cane Creek Asparagus & Company CSA. “Constant innovation is required in order to be successful. I support clean and renewable energy and the reduction of carbon pollution to stave off the ill effects of climate change.”
Daniel Whittaker, owner of Green Planet Catering in Raleigh, said climate change has also impacted his business.
“Extreme weather caused by climate change hampers our ability to farm our own produce, hitting hard against our bottom line,” Whittaker said. “We need to be investing more in renewable energy as a country to ensure future economic stability for our food markets.”
Communities along North Carolina’s coast regularly face the harsh realities of climate change.
“As a business owner on the coast, not just my livelihood but the future of my family and millions of others who live on the coast are directly affected by climate change,” said Katie Marvel, owner of Mermaid Manor at Carolina Beach. “Coastal communities everywhere face financial ruin in the face of our increasing weather changes and hurricanes. Taking care of our environment for our children and our grandchildren is of the utmost importance.”
More than 500 business owners in Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia as well as North Carolina signed on to letters asking their elected officials to stand behind the EPA and stand up for clean energy.
A recent poll by small business advocacy group Small Business Majority found that more than half of all small businesses in the nation support the EPA regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants, and 76 percent of small business owners are in favor of requiring new power plants to reduce carbon emissions. An overwhelming majority — 82 percent – also support EPA rules to reduce mercury and other toxic emissions from new and existing power plants.
Jennifer Rennicks, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 828-275-0564, [email protected]
Dave Rogers, Environment North Carolina, 919-833-0015 x102, [email protected]
Bridget Whelan, North Carolina Conservation Network, 919-857-4699 x109, [email protected]